Hopeful Intermissions to Brighten Your Day
While there is no doubt that we are in the midst of a global pandemic, it can be overwhelming to hear and read about nothing other than that topic and the negativity related to it. Considering the amount of time that has transpired since the Coronavirus outbreak began and the vast timeframes that remain before this virus no longer rules our lives, many are experiencing mental fatigue and depression. To avoid having the primary focus of our entire day revolve around the pandemic, here are some easy ways to give yourself a positive mental and physical boost.
Mental Break – Try to find a new hobby, show or pastime that is different than what you would typically do to pass the time. Perhaps you can discover a new social media platform, try a different workout regime or attempt a crafting activity. This is a great time to start that new garden you’ve been wanting for years or organize the old photos collecting dust in your attic. Ideally it would be an activity that is simple enough to distract you from your day without adding pressure or stress.
Kind Deed – Doing a good deed is always uplifting and encourages positivity. Some ideas may be to donate to a deserving organization, offer to run errands for others who are homebound, or call and connect with someone that you know is lonely. Taking the time to brighten someone else’s day will do wonders for yours as well.
Media Exposure – While it is important to know the latest updates and information regarding COVID-19, it is unnecessary to hear about it all day and on every news outlet. Hearing about constant death rates, increased coronavirus cases and imposed restrictions takes a toll. Each bit of information also registers differently for everyone, emphasizing the repercussions the pandemic is having on family, careers and emotional bonds.
Choose one news outlet and set a limit as to the amount of time you will watch the news or read about it online. Make a conscious effort to watch or read something completely unrelated just for entertainment purposes that you enjoy.
Get Physical – Exerting your body has a significant effect on your mental state. Even a walk will release tension and ease thoughts and stress. Regular physical activity helps to ensure a sense of feeling whole and balance. Even shorter spans of lower level activity can release endorphins and improve your mood.
Reality Check – While the Pandemic is frightening and overwhelming, we must consider the many events and episodes in history that have been overcome thus far. Pandemics of the past, natural disasters and tragedies left our country in a terrible state. There are many reasons for which this period brings unease and uncertainty but ultimately, having confidence that the outcome will return us to a reality far greater than our ancestors knew is a great comfort.
Ultimately, focusing on hope and choosing to break up the monotony of your day with ways to evoke happiness can only bring a positive result. You can have fun, learn a new skill and change your mood in the process. There’s nothing to be lost and so much to gain from choosing to be happy.
Acceptance and Understanding Between Generations
At 25 years old, Dalysha Medina knows firsthand the difficult challenges her generation faces during the Coronavirus Pandemic. As a millennial, student loan debt and the recent recession has left most of her generation at an incredible disadvantage. Millennials make up one fourth of the population, making them the largest generational group. Most millennials already work multiple jobs and this recent blow of the economy shutting down has only worsened their financial prospects.
As a Pan American Bank & Trust Universal Banker, Dalysha communicates daily with clients and supports their efforts to keep their businesses thriving and families financially stable. Having the unique perspective of being part of the largest generational group, Dalysha realizes the need for understanding and acceptance between generations.
Dalysha mentioned one of the largest misconceptions about millennials that needs clarification is the behavior of a few is attributed to her entire generation. For instance, there was an extreme amount of unfavorable press for the select amount of college students that recently chose to party on the beaches for Spring Break amid the Coronavirus outbreak. Considering the generational birth year range for millennials spans from 1980 to 1997, there are approximately 80 million millennials in the United States alone.
In reality, the majority of millennials are working, taking care of elders and supporting their families. In fact, millennials are the majority of the frontline workers that have pushed our country through this especially difficult time. They occupy many of the essential positions that have enabled the United States to remain stocked with critical supplies and services from businesses such as restaurants, food delivery service, grocery stores, parcel delivery, etc.
Dalysha views her generation as one of that is driven by hope and prioritizes the needs of family and older generations who have been especially impacted during this pandemic. The greatest struggle for a millennial is identifying reputable sources for guidance with the financial crises they all seem to face. Even during this pandemic, student loan payments need to be paid and unemployment numbers increase by the day. When everyone you are close to is in the same situation as you, it’s hard to see a way out of it.
All the more reason why Dalysha’s point of the need for acceptance and understanding is so important. Rather than casting blame or judgment, now more than ever, generations must unite to offer support to each other. Older generations can offer advice and expertise, while younger generations can offer technology and manpower. Dalysha believes that if there was an increased effort by everyone, gratitude and comradery would override negativity.
Last words of positivity from Dalysha: “For everyone that’s worried, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, things will eventually go back to the way they were. Stay Strong!”
Using the Power of Generosity to Help Move Communities Forward
As the undefined coronavirus pandemic timeframe weighs on us, many are searching for ways to make positive impacts and connections. The shelter in place order has affected people throughout society in various ways. The viability of businesses and the state of our mental and emotional well being as we continue to lack social and physical interaction with others has taken a toll in ways no one could have predicted. The greatest way to feel uplifted is to seek a way to help others, no matter how minor the deed. Even the smallest assistance could mean the world to someone in need.
The gift of giving offers hope and optimism, not only to the recipient but also to the donor. There is no better way to create a sense of optimism for the future, ensuring a sense a purpose towards normalcy and embracing your fellow neighbor or business in distress.
Here are some simple ways to offer support while staying safe.
Maintain Subscriptions or become a Member at a Theatre or Museum - This will allow the institution the financial support needed to sustain them until visitors can resume. This is especially true for smaller local venues that do not have the funding of larger donors.
Purchase Gift Cards – Providing funds to businesses in need is a great way to show support that offers you the opportunity to enjoy a service, experience or meal at a later date. They can also be given as gifts to others in need, allowing you to be twice as supportive.
Order Take out or Delivery – The restaurant industry has been especially affected by the shutdowns since all dine-in services have been closed. Many have adjusted to offer curbside pickup or delivery. Ordering out is a win-win situation, providing much needed revenue to your local family owned restaurant and a delicious no-mess meal for your family.
Shop local – Neighborhood boutiques and shops have acclimated their stores to accommodate social distancing regulations, offering curbside pickup, online shopping and home deliveries. Now, more than ever, small shop owners can use your support over larger corporate retailers. Think of a local business next time you need to purchase a gift or make a purchase.
Donations – Those that are able to can always donate to any business or entity they feel are deserving. Any amount is valuable and appreciated and will go towards ensuring that cause or business will have a better chance of enduring the uncertainty of the pandemic and be open for you to enjoy in the future.
Don’t forget to check out your local Chambers of Commerce, which are also well organized, and offering platforms to contribute to local community businesses and those in need.
Here are some resources to help and support our local community businesses:
- Melrose Park Chamber of Commerce(Opens in a new Window)
- Bellwood Chamber of Commerce(Opens in a new Window)
- Bloomingdale Chamber of Commerce Gift Card Extravaganza(Opens in a new Window)
- Little Village Chamber of Commerce(Opens in a new Window)
- Palatine Strong(Opens in a new Window)
- Edgebrook Sauganash Chamber of Commerce